Let’s get right to the secrets. Three things. Quality of ground beef. Fat content. The third secret will surprise you. Ice water. Thick and juicy is the key foundation of any great tasting hamburger. Of course, we all have unique flavor preferences of certain herbs, spices, and condiments but those will only add flavor. Rarely juiciness.
How To Cook Juicy Hamburgers
Choosing the right ground beef. There is a distinct difference between hamburger meat and ground beef. Hamburger meat can be comprised of different cuts of beef and can have fat added up to 30%. Ground beef is ground from only one cut of beef and cannot have added fat beyond what is already contained within the cut itself.
Do yourself a favor. Have your butcher prepare ground chuck. It is a tasty cut of beef. Order it as lean as you prefer, A 20% fat content is about right. Nicely lean, yet not too much fat. As the hamburger cooks, the fat melts and renders into the lean portion producing great flavor while adding juiciness and tenderness. If you are grilling your burger, 20% fat will reduce “flare-up” versus 30% fat.
Here’s The Real Key To Juiciness
Adding ice water. That’s right. You may be a bit apprehensive, but it works, Trust it. The ratio is 1/4 cup of ice water to 1 pound of ground beef. You can adjust that to personal preference.
Directions. Immediately before cooking the hamburger, place ground beef in a bowl. Sprinkle it evenly with salt and ground black pepper to your desired taste. You can also add other spices and herbs. Add the ice water. Hand-blend gently until the meat absorbs the water. Be careful not to over-work the ground beef because it will have a tendency to make the burger tough and “loafy”.
Juiciness and flavor concept. Obviously water adds moisture, It also blends the full flavor of salt, pepper or other spices while penetrating the entirety of the ground beef delivering a consistent taste with each and every bite.
Why ice water works. It slows the cooking process which enhances tenderness When the moisture heats it creates internal steam resulting in melding of flavors with the burger’s natural juices. Keep this in mind. When cooking, sear the meat quickly on both sides at higher heat giving the burger a pleasant charred flavor. Then reduce the heat and continue cooking until it reaches desired doneness.
Note. For safety, hamburgers should be cooked well done.
Ground Beef Safety PDF
Ground Beef Safety (USDA)
Other Hamburger Recipes
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